White House: Federal Employees Need a Pay Raise

By on June 28, 2012 in News, Pay & Benefits

In a statement issued by the Office of Management and Budget, the White House has indicated strong objection to the notion of federal workers going without a pay increase in 2013.

OMB issued the statement in opposition to H.R. 6020, the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act of 2013. The statement was basically a veto threat against the act, one which would make appropriations for financial services and general government for FY 2013.

The legislation as proposed is silent on the notion of a pay raise for federal employees, thus raising the possibility of no pay increase.

The White House proposed a 0.5% pay increase for federal workers earlier this year to break the current pay freeze which the President first proposed in late 2010.

In its statement, OMB said, “The Administration objects to the exclusion of a provision providing for a Government-wide civilian pay adjustment for calendar year 2013. As the President stated in his FY 2013 Budget request, a permanent pay freeze is neither sustainable nor desirable. The Administration encourages the Congress to support the proposed 0.5 percent pay raise for civilian employees, while continuing the pay freeze for senior political officials. The Administration also urges the inclusion of a provision relating to pay adjustments for prevailing rate employees.”

It’s too early to tell how the pay raise debate for 2013 will turn out, but the White House has made it clear it wants the current pay freeze to end next year.

© 2016 Ian Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ian Smith.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce. Ian also has a background in web development and does the technical work for the FedSmith.com web site and its sibling sites.

215 Replies

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  1. Cleasachd says:

    And why are we re-posting this almost 5 month old article just 1 week before the election?  I’m pretty sure there’s more recent news out there  of interest to readers of Fedsmith.

  2. NoDonkey says:

    This from a guy who spent $1.6 billion in taxpayer funding to entertain himself, his family and his supporters.  Talk about a “do as I say, not as I do” “leader”. 

  3. FedUpFed says:

    Wow, a whole increase of $4.73/week.  I’ll try not to spend it all in one place.

  4. SINkue says:

    Mr. President, keep your 0.5% pay increase. It will neither help or offset the cost of a slumping economy. If you really want to do right by federal employees, refuse to sign any document that alludes to raising our retirement benefits or healthcare costs. The mire gesture will definitely put you back into office.

  5. bbf says:

    Anyone here ready to vote for someone who put a freeze on your pay for 2 years?  NOT ME. “Every bill introduced that screws federal workers has an “R” in front of it.” How can Obama-lovers try to pin this one on the Republicans?

  6. Dusty299 says:

    This is not even an thinly vailed attempt to get votes……….Federal workers are an unprotected lamb thrown into the lions den and being blamed for the unbelievable waste at the top…….the money that took a 500 person entourage to the G8 summit including 6 physicians, cooks, his own food, limos, message therapists, personal trainers, staffers and 200 secret service alone will dwarf the amount of money that will be taken from the Federal workers that actually serve our country…..and lest we forget the Mrs. is the emissary to the olympics in London……….the money wasted on her lavish life style will make the G8 wastes look like lunch money………..

  7. Faz says:

    The problem with the pay freeze is that is was just for the lower salaried employees. The supervisors, district office secretaries, ect.. all received pay raises and bonuses. Call it what is really is…..Screw the working men and women of this fine country who perform a service to this country.

  8. Janicebobo says:

    Other people aren’t getting a pay raise so why should government employees?

    • Rbarron says:

      CEOs are getting bonuses and raises and you are complaining about a few cents to FEDS maybe if the CEOs pay was not so high you would get a raise.

    • Kris Berg says:

       During the housing and dot com bubbles, folks got big raises, so why not give the feds 20% raises?

  9. RETVET03 says:

    Well if he can’t extrapolate, then you can’t either.  Can’t have your cake and eat it too.

  10. RETVET03 says:

    If I had a Chinese nurse I’d be busy with her, not with your silly posts.

  11. RETVET03 says:

    I posted a comment with a link, so it awaits the “moderator”.

    It is a law.  Here is an exerpt from the CRS link I had posted:

    Under the terms of the Federal Employees’ Pay Comparability Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-509), pay for civilian federal employees is adjusted each year to keep the salaries of federal workers competitive with comparable occupations in the private sector. The annual increases in federal employee pay are based on changes in the cash compensation paid to workers in the private sector, as measured by the ECI.

  12. RETVET03 says:

    No, it’s law:

    Federal Employees’ Pay Comparability Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-509).

    Here’s a link to research done by the CRS:


    An excerpt:

    Under the terms of the Federal Employees’ Pay Comparability Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-509), payfor civilian federal employees is adjusted each year to keep the salaries of federal workerscompetitive with comparable occupations in the private sector. The annual increases in federalemployee pay are based on changes in the cash compensation paid to workers in the privatesector, as measured by the ECI.

  13. RETVET03 says:

    “Many of the 49% don’t pay Fed income tax not because their wages are low, but because tax law — like the Bush tax cuts!! — reduced their rates and raised the bracket thresholds.”

    Wrong.  Facts would help.  Here they are.  Of the 49 percent, percent for percent, about 25 of them, when they take the standard deduction and exemption, have no tax liablity.  The remaining break into three groups:  Elderly on Social Security, people on disability income, and working families.  Now there are about 1500 millionaires who didn’t pay a dime, but their number is peanuts compared to the aforementioned groups and the tax base as a whole.  The vast majority have incomes at or near poverty levels and the fact that 49 percent have no tax liability should make that point obvious.

    Lefty? Typical.  The private sector?  The economy as a whole has been decimated by the credit freeze, which is the result of the financial sector crashing due to securitization of subprime loans backed by credit default swaps.  The companies that survive today are cash rich and the ones that died or are in a mortal struggle to survive are dependent on credit.  And who are they? The vast majority are small businesses who absolutely need a credit line, for many reasons but esp. to meet their payroll, because small businesses have wider swings in their incomes/invoices and need a credit line to smooth that out.  With lower credit available these small businesses have no choice but to let workers go, which ultimately results in lower revenues, which affects their vendors, etc etc, the whole business cycle.  And none of this will be fixed until the credit markets are fixed.

    As far as what Obama did, as you may recall we were losing 200K jobs/week during Bush’s lame session.  What Obama signed was essentially laid on his desk by the Bush administration.  Letting Lehman fall was a mistake, but if AIG would have went under then someone would have to pay for all the CDS’s they held, and it would have been very, very ugly.  Most people don’t have a clue how CDS’s literally undermined the financial markets, but a good place to start would be looking at the history of “bucket houses” on Wall Street.  Looks like history repeated.

  14. Akdouglas1 says:

    So all the tea party and small government people who are always whining on here about taxes i assume will not want a pay increase? Whew! At least i can count on their support to keep taxes low on the wealthy and keep screwing themselves out of any kind of pay raise! Go romney!

  15. Lovin life in San Diego says:

    Ditto on saywhatagain42.  We didn’t just fall off the turnip truck!

  16. WILL RETIRE ASAP says:

    In addition to a pay raise, all eligible federal employees across all federal agencies should receive Early-Out offers. Realistically, the pay raise would have to be at least 25 to 40% in order to even come close to private sector pay. This would not even consider massive corporate bonuses and perks.

    • Kris Berg says:

       True but not all federal employees deserve higher salaries, its not a performance issue, just the outdated GS scale, folks doing office duty for social security or at a desk duty for a government
      agency, are not the same as an fbi agent or one with more duties such as teaching .

  17. Morten In Illinois says:

    Just a ploy for votes.  That’s all.  This administration still doesn’t know what it’s doing, aside from their commie agenda, including increasing dependency on them.

  18. Fed Procurement says:

    Just think, if we elected the Prez every year, gas prices would stay down.  Doesn’t matter which bunch is in, it’s just the same.  They will screw you during the year and whoo and behold, prices go down the closer we get to the election.  Then afterward, they start going up……crisis in the Middle East or some other b.s.

  19. Bean Counter says:

    Keep your damn .05% Mr. President, you gonna need to fund your stupid TAX program called OBAMAdoesn’tcare!  It won’t even offset the increase in FEHB premiums!!!  So why bother?

  20. RicknATL says:

    Thanks for nothing Obama. You lost me when you chose to freeze our pay for 2 years, while at the same time, you extended the tax cut for the rich. I don’t mind sacrificing, but it should have been SHARED sacrifice. 

  21. good_reader1 says:

    If you are a Federal Employee with health insurance you will not be taxed with the new Health Care law. If you vote Republician you may be outsourced and your job goes to a contractor, since they will control congress even more than they do now. I can’t see any Federal Employee voting against the Obama Admonistration when the suicidal cuts the Paul Ryan plan has for Social Security, Medicare and possible cutting Federal Retirement benefits.
    If they control congress after the next election maybe your retirememt annuity will also be cut to try to balance the deficit.

    • Richard Jefferson says:

      “If you are a Federal Employee with health insurance you will not be taxed with the new Health Care law.”

      Huh? That statement makes no sense. I pay taxes every payday. Have been for 39 years.

      And you might want to bone up on the law. If says that EVERYBODY has to have health insurance or face a fine. Makes no difference if you are government or private employee or not employee at all. Don’t work, out of work etc.

    • guestwo says:

      Too long to continue posting but go see what OTC medications reuire a prescription as of Jan. 1, 2011.  Also the health care law will also impose a limit on health
      accounts. Starting in 2013, employees can put no more than $2,500 into their
      health care flex account. (A husband and wife can each put up to $2,500 into
      their separate accounts.) Today there is no limit. If you anticipate a big
      expense – for braces or laser eye surgery – consider getting it done before
      2013.  Do I need to spell out what this does to your taxes!
      Try reading the articles on what Obamataxes are already in place  before commenting on it. 
      Yeah, but he promised me no new taxes. LOLOLOL

  22. Girl Geek says:

    Politics or not, feds deserve a raise! We’ve sat and taken 3-4 years of abuse from Congress and the public and taken with our heads held high. A 5 % increase will not do anything for us but bring us closer to inflation costs.

    • wombat1951 says:

      For what?   Sitting in your secure and well paid jobs while millions upon millions of your fellow citizens — who pay you! — have lost their jobs and are having a hard time finding another one?

      The utter sense of raw entitlement captured by your whine is breathtaking!  

      If you do not feel like your marvelous talents are being compensated sufficiently, then by all means take them somewhere else where you will be paid what you think you are worth 🙂

      But if you do…then you have increased the possibility that you, too, might experience the effects of a poor economy with your job disappearing, rather than just your annual expected “raises”.

      A dose of the “real world” might do you some good.

      • Richard Jefferson says:

        Ohhh, wombat, wombat, wombat … stop drinking the kook-aid.

        Your sitting in your secure and well paid job while millions upon millions of your fellow citizens – who also pay you – have lost their jobs.

        Raw entitlement? Do you work for free? Bet not and that you feel you are entitled to compensation for your job too.

        Job disappearing. As of last Oct (2011) 400 government employees (4 percent) of our overall agency lost their jobs due to budget cuts. They were in July to prepare for termination. Don’t tell me we don’t have disappearing positions because of the economy.

        • RETVET03 says:

          Well put.  Also look at DoD, esp. Army and Air Force. 9-15K positions right off the bat, more to come.

      • Girl Geek says:

        I’ve been in the real world, I didn’t whine about anything. I was a government contractor for 10 years in the military for 13 years. So maybe you better not assume you know everything.

      • Girl Geek says:

        BTW, I pay about 30k in taxes every year also, wombat critter.

    • guestwo says:

      It’s 0.5%.  One half of one per cent!